tv Washington This Week CSPAN December 7, 2013 6:00pm-6:31pm EST
that is what the states were supposed to go by. in any that the senate, which is more of a federal -- and then you have got the senate, which is more of a federal branch, and that is how we got the electoral college. as for the state legislature goes, i do not see where it is anybody's business how people or their legislatures judicial appointments and those kinds of things. we fought a civil war over this once before, you know, and i just don't think it is right. who --tion would be -- president obama when he severed -- when hed look for sat for 20 years and listen to reverend wright? guest: you know, i'm not quite sure how to answer that question.
that there is a lot of variation between the states and the federal systems, and that is really one of the things that we found was that there is so much of a difference between a federal standards and the states, and the states really have so much variation between them. some of them -- the rules are state, soto the you have the separation of powers, you have the state rights. they would have a really unique form and unique standards. i could give examples of your interested. host: sure. guest: in new jersey, they asked the justices to discuss if they own any property in atlantic city. atlantic city geographically the tiny part of new jersey. i guess this came from interest in making sure there were not corruptive influences and gambling. in north carolina, they asked for any -- if anyone who ifointed the judge gave -- the judge gave any money to that
person who a point to them, which is an interesting question. you would not be that in a state where there is an election system only. wortha asks for the net of the judges. they each other own particular brand of things. as our states to, they all have unique identities. host: do judges typically answer these types of questions openly? it is hard to know, but some film out with more diligence than others, some judges go above and beyond. they are not required to say how many shares they own in a stock in some judges did. some judges say i think this is important, i will put it out there, and just as war and silver in maine -- justice warren silver in maine was not required to disclose a much younger than a stock and he did. some judges went above and beyond. it's hard to know it's judges did not disclose everything. it is the unknown. in a lot ofpeak generalities in the sense that i
have earnings say between $1000 and $20,000. i'm just throwing it out there. it is never nailed onto a specific total. at least from what i read. guest: some states do as war and totals, but a lot of them do use really broad ranges. there is a big difference and $5 million, and i think for regular people who do not have a lot of income, all of this seems pretty impressive. $10,000 ownership in a stock. i think it may not be significant to a judge who has had a long legal career and has amassed an amount of wealth, but to a regular person, this judge owns $10,000 stock is in the that could be significant. host: catherine from virginia, democrats line. caller: first, the center for public integrity does great work. my question deals with the west virginia supreme court. the justices disclose for a little.
-- and very little. they are elected to their seat. what information at a minimum should be required additionally to be disclosed to make that an easier, more informed decision for voters to make when selecting those justices? great question that you asked. i am not in a position to say what they should be required to say. our general thought is that it should be as transferred as possible, and we did think that the federal rules were a potential model that west virginia could adopt. .r other states could adopt a little bit more information about investments and the transactions that they have, what kind of gets the -- kinds of gifts the judges receive, who are they from, what they were cured the more affirmation you have, the clearer it can be
for voters like you have to make a decision. there are so are campaign finance reports that often shed a lot of light as well on who is intervening to those campaigns. those disclosure rules are but also extremely important a getting a sense of what potential influences there could be on these people as they seek office. david from conway, massachusetts. independent line. caller: good morning. thank you for doing your study and putting up the brave report for the different states here. a question in a statement. one, did you actually think that it would be anything different than what you discovered? that would be the question. and then the statement would be -- i remember in college at doing multiple studies on different pac's and congressmen and senators, and consistently
seeing a correlation between donors and how people voted. it went hand-in-hand. so again, did you really think you would see anything different? thank you. your: thank you for question. you know, i actually did expect the states to do better. the federal standards have been out there for a long time, the federal judges build these out, other elected officials have to fill out personal financial disclosure forms, but i was that the disclosures were so minimal for so many of the states, that was surprised that three states and not have them at all. they are pretty standard for elected or appointed officials to have a disclosure form that they need to fill out. so i was personally a little bit surprised. host: what is the general rule but judges face when it comes to accepting gifts? not one general rule.
it is as varied as the country is. the overarching things and most of the personal conduct is that they should not accept something for somebody who could influence them. that is easier said than done because a judge never knows who is going to come before them in next few months. there could be cases that are coming up the pipeline that they cannot anticipate. some states have really strict rules and say you cannot accept anything more than $50, but there are generally loopholes and all of those things. you can accept over $50, but you can accept a token desk item, a paperweight or something like that. i could be worth a lot more. --is hard to figure out what that could be worth a lot more cured is hard to figure out what these things mean when there is a lot of gray area. host: what kind of gifts have been accepted? guest: we found that there was a judge in arkansas who had a $50,000 trip to italy given to her by an attorney.
the year before that, she had a $12,000 trip to the caribbean given by the same attorney. we had a justice in illinois who had two country club memberships. a justice of indiana got tickets to the indy 500. we have a lot tickets, lots of conferences that they were given, hotel and board and flights out to -- which herbs to france -- we had trips to france, argentina. to charity galas, clocks, all cars of things that were reported. host: were there connections between the gift that were received? guest: would it not find obvious case is about. some of that may be hard to see. it may be that they are doing the right thing and not excepting gets from people they should not be cured we did find one judge who had received what
appears to be a ticket to a charity gala from a company that is a gold mining company, and then two months after going to aat charity gala, accepted case that is still pending in nevada involving that company. are there are a wide variety of reporting rules the states have when it comes to specifically gifts? hugelyyes, they vary from state to state. some have gift limits, as i said, and other places do not have limits, but you need to report it, and have very strict reporting standards. anything over $100 is to be reported. some states like new jersey and new york, you only have to report a gift of it is over $1000. so there is a lot of stuff you can get that is less than $1000 that you would not see. host: do you have to report the dollar amount only or spell out exactly what the gift was? guest: it varies by state. some you'll have to say who it
to you and you do not have to say what it was. some you have to say what it was but not how much it is worth. tell ifates you cannot what they got was a keychain or a cadillac. you really cannot tell. you just know somebody gave them something. to get a sense of -- is a complex or the something that matters or something that is not? host: disclosure rules for state supreme court judges. our guest, kytja weir. our next call, linda, democrats line. caller: hi. i follow your website. i'm curious if you did any co- relation work -- core relation work to campaign -- correlation work to campaign, i know you have done studies on both your some of your partner websites as well. so i was just wondering if you investigated that, are you going
to investigate it, what have you seen in that area? thank you and good work. guest: thank you. thank you for the question. this time we did not focus on the campaign aspects of the thees, so this is just personal financial holdings. we did not find any obvious connections with the prison industry occurred i know a lot of either company's are involved in that. we have had other credits were we have looked at the campaign finance of these judges and the influencers of the people who are directly contribute to their campaigns and the people who are spending money outside of the orpaigns on issue ads other promotional materials. i do not know if we specifically looked at the prison systems. that would be a potentially good one to look at. there are a lot of areas of influence that could be interesting to delve further into. host: here is bill from maryland, independent line. caller: hi.
pursuit of justice, without fear or favor. every fairy is not necessarily -- i'm wondering if center for public integrity will have time to investigate relationship where there is no exchange of favor other than relationships. meeting the needs of friends. is that something that you think you might have time to look into? a great question. i wish we were able to get it that. i think that that is one of the really hard things to evaluate because you are kind of looking at how relationships -- who scratched whose back, and certainly on a national level looking at all of the relationships is a really hard thing to do. but i think you're right -- a lot that happens. i do you a favor, you do me a favor, and there is nothing that could before running -- that
could be put on a disclosure form about it. that are some instances all of us feel could be problematic, but it is hard to pinpoint. i think that would be a hard thing to get any meaningful way and understand where the complex are. host: up next, sheila, democrats line. caller: hi, ms. weir. i was wondering during her financial disclosure study, did you find a core relation of increased court judge dissipation or partnership and ownership in the prison system work production since the system had been privatized by the bush administration? guest: another caller asked a similar question. we're not actually see anything obviously, ownership stake in the prison
a lot of these states have such had disclosure rules. lot we do not know from these forms. i do not know if i could say definitively. host: you highlight a justice in california. why do you do that? guest: she is an interesting person. she had somewhere between $100,000 and $1 million in stock in wells fargo. last year, she was part of the court in turning down an appeal by a couple that accused wells fargo of predatory lending. owned her colleagues also wells fargo stock and said, i cannot dissipate in this case. she did not. she owned up to $1 million of stock in the company. we contacted california and they said, oops!
ourre going to look at standards and set up systems to make sure this does not happen again. host: did you find direct instances of stocks or gives directly related to a decision favoring holdings and gifts? did.: yes, we we had a number of cases where a judge offered an opinion on cases that favored a company that they or their spouse have stock in. we had several cases. when we'd contacted the judges, some of them inclined -- when we contacted the judges, some of them declined to comment. they said, i thought i should be fair and rule on it. standards of their states, some of the justices were not required to recruit --
to recuse themselves. host: other ways judges are tangled up in their financial interests and holdings they have? be more complicated your financial resources are, the more competent of these things can be. one thing they can do is not have direct stock. that can be tricky. fund, that a mutual can dampen the impact. you are not buying shares in individual companies. the judge cannot say, i will rule this way or that way. trust. option is a blind but those can also be tricky because you know what is going
into it when you start the blind trust. it is hard to say that it is really blind. host: up next, florida, independent line. i am not sure i will be able to ask my question properly. when you were talking about rating and one of the better things is to have the financial closers -- disclosures put online, now there is identity theft and people taking information and using it in an inappropriate or criminal way, and i guess this is where you can -- i am not sure how to ask that question. what are your feelings on the financial disclosure and ensuring protection in identity
theft and abusing the information? concern ofow it is a a lot of the judges. there are 2 elements. financial concern for information, identity theft, phishing for information. a lot of people have vendettas about how a case went and do try to target members of the judiciary. they are concerned about their safety. fromwas something we heard the states repeatedly. if you put information out there, you can make the judges or their families vulnerable. there are states that put out a lot of information and they have not had a ton of information -- examples of judges being ofgeted. there is a lot information about these judges on line. their own bio will list the names of their children and where their spouses work. most information on these
financial disclosure forms do not list account numbers, birth bees, or things that could used to get sensitive information. it is generally saying they own stock in a company. it is hard to imagine how one could use that to commit fraud. a lot of experts say, when you are a public servant, enough to sacrifice a little bit of privacy to do the job you are doing to make sure the public has trust in the work you are doing. host: a viewer says i clerked for a judge who brought food baskets to the office at christmas. did you find anything that stringent? guest: there are some states that say that if you receive food baskets or flowers, you need to put it in a public area so everyone can enjoy it. there are places that have strict rules. is hard to know exactly what
is happening in those chambers because some of it is not disclosed. >> on the next washington journal, efforts are looked at to reintroduce the health care law and gop efforts to undermine it. journal" talks about the november jobs numbers. refused vice president biden's trip to china last week in the state of u.s.-china relations. >> as you walk in, there tables out front with him -- pamphlets. theamphlets are how about
government is trying to take away your right to old -- owned guns. those of the guys i wanted to talk to. they were the one with the leaflets, the ideas. they said, who are you? academic and i am doing research on these organizations, these ideas, and trying to understand the guys in it. they looked at me suspiciously and i said, look, here is what i am. i don't get it. my job -- i want to understand how you guys you be world. i want to understand your worldview. convince me and i will not convince you. that is off the table. what is on the table is i want to understand why you think the way you do. >> downward mobility, racial, and gender equality.
the fear and rage of angry white man. part of book tv this weekend on c-span 2. >> online, we want to know what your favorite books were in 2013. drop the month, join other readers to discuss notable books published this year. >> in his weekly address, the president called on congress to extend long-term unemployment insurance. in the republican response, north carolina representative talks about her objection to the health care law. >> not only is the season a time for membrane the bottom we share and art are the -- and our obligations to each other as human beings, but right now, more than one million americans economicd to lose an lifeline if congress does not do
anything about it. our top priority is a country should be restoring broad-based economic growth for all americans. yesterday, we learned that our businesses created about 2000 and 200,000 jobs in november. that is more than 8 million new jobs in last 45 months and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in five years. we need to do everything we can to help businesses create more new -- good jobs that pay good wages. the whole that we are still digging out of means that there are still means of americans looking for work, often because they have been laid off through no fault of their own. for thehave to look out americans that are working hard to get those jobs. that is why, as a country, we offer temporary unemployment insurance. when they get that job, they can bounce back more quickly. for many families, it could be the difference between hardship and catastrophe. for ald make a difference mother who suddenly doesn't know if she will be able to put food on the table for her kids.
for a father who lost his job and is looking for a new one. last year alone, it lifted 2.5 million people out of poverty and cushion the blow for many more. here's the thing -- if members of congress don't act before they leave on their vacations, on .3 million americans will lose this lifeline. -- theye people we know are our friends and neighbors, they sit next to us in church, and volunteers in our communities. their kids play with our kids and they include 20,000 veterans witherved this country honor. if congress refuses to act, it will not just hurt families already struggling, it will harm the economy. unemployment insurance is one of the most effective way there is to boost the economy. when more people spend money on basic necessities, it means more customers and more jobs. the evidence shows that unemployment does not stop people from trying to hard work -- stop work -- trying hard to find work.
if we stopted that it now it will be a drag on the economy next year. another estimate thinks it can cost businesses to wondered 40,000 jobs. without the ability to feed their families or pay bills, many people currently looking looking forld stop good. extending unemployment insurance is not just the right thing to do for our families, it is the smart thing to do for our economy. it should not be a partisan issue. for decades, congress has offered to vote for relief for job seekers. now that economic lifeline is in jeopardy all because republicans in the congress, which is on track to be the most unproductive in history, has so far refused to extend it. in this holiday season, let's give our fellow americans were desperately looking for work the help they need to keep on looking. let's keep it easy for
businesses to attract more customers and our economy to grow. together, let's keep doing--- keep doing everything we can everything we can to get ahead. goodue everyone and have a weekend. >> merry christmas everyone, and hello. like many of you, i am frustrated with the president's health care law, especially where jobs and working families are concerned. i say this not only as a congresswoman and chair of the republican women's aussie committee, i say it as a nurse and a mother of a son in college. often women who make the health care decision for our families. we have put a lot of time and thought into these choices and how they will affect our budget. by canceling your insurance, despite a promise to let you you keep your plan, the obama administration is essentially
saying it knows best for you and your family. not only that, they are making you pay more, usually much more, and in many cases taking away the doctors you've been seeing for years. about a warto talk on women, look no further than this health care law. just consider some the stories i have heard from folks in my district. marion in pittsburgh said that she and her husband received cancellation notices any replacement would double their premiums. when she called to ask for help, the insurance company told her that if she doesn't sign up for a new plan, the law requires that they enroll her in a suggested policy. willincrease, she says, consume their gas and grocery money for the month. now she sees no choice but to cancel their insurance altogether. couple are in their mid-50's
and they report their premiums are about to jump from $240 to $968 per month. that is nearly four times higher. they have always preferred a high deductible policy because they work hard to stay in good health. when they do need care, they like to shop for the best value. as we have seen, this administration thinks it knows better than they do. liz from sanford. she is a small business owner with only two employees -- herself and her husband. onir premiums went up 127% account of the new law. she call me that her and her husband are regular, hard- working, healthy americans. she said they are not wealthy. i really do not know what will happen in the future. seeing so many hard-working people having to spend the holiday season wondering, what is next tackle -- next?
.t is heartbreaking and wrong these families would not be in the boat if those who wrote the law had listened to hard-working taxpayers instead of relying on insurance companies and big businesses. even now these same entities are the ones getting special the old delays, breaks, and workarounds from the white house. that is why the house has passed legislation to delay the individual mandate for all americans and let you keep the plan you like. these proposals are among the awaiting action in the democratic-run senate. leaders there continue to stand in the way of the american part, are in for our republicans will continue to listen, focus on jobs, and give this law the scrutiny it deserves.
we are also going to keep pressing the president to do the right thing. if the president will not scrap this law, isn't it time for him to delay it for all americans he for it does further harm? on behalf of all of us here, let me wish you and your families a merry christmas and happy holidays. thank you for listening. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> in a few moments, we will talk about the fcc on "the communicators. later, "first ladies: betty ford." you as a, brought to public service by